Friday, February 27, 2009

Dorian Fishbowl Chapters 13-16 Question

On the first page of the preface Wilde says, "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all." Do you agree, due to the ideas that were brought up in class, that Wilde does not want us to pick apart his book based on morals? He merely wants society to understand that art is useless, it is just "art for art sake."

21 comments:

SarahE2010 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SarahE2010 said...

I agree that Wilde doesn't want us to pick apart his book based on moral standards. I think that he wants society to realize that art's purpose is solely for the artist. I think that art should just be viewed as a form of expression, not some kind political statement. The same goes for literature. I think that sometimes, authors really just wrote the book to express a cool idea they had, and they never intended it to be analyzed to death.

shellim2009 said...

I think that if you don't read into the text at all, and read it as 'art for art's sake' only, as Wilde suggest we do, then there is no way to tell whether or not a book is moral or immoral. However, we as a society read into EVERYTHING. Therefore, Wilde possibly knew that people read into things, and was hoping for society to do so with Dorian Gray. That way, he uses reverse psychology to make us look for his contradiction. If I had not read the preface I can't say that I would be searching the text for hidden meaning as hard as I am. So, I think Wilde wants us to look for hidden meaning in this book, but then again, I may just be reading into things.

KatieM2009 said...

Wilde does not want us to pick apart the literature. He wrote this book while he was in jail and was just bored. He wrote this story for entertainment, not to find things like metaphors and literarly themes. I believe that Wilde was not the kind of person who appreciated literature and art for what themes and motifs could be found in the piece but for its beauty and what art can do for the soul and the mind.

Eric said...

I agree that Wilde does not want us to interprupt the book for the morals and that he wrote this book because he was mad at the society since he was in a prison. I think that he is trying to say that people need to have a mind of their own and speak up for themselves. I think Wilde also wrote this book because he needed something to do while he was in jail and I do not think he intended to have the book looked at this deeply for messages and themes. I think Wilde wrote this book because it is useless and he just did it for the sake of art just to please himself.

MackenzieL2009 said...

I disagree, I think that he did want us to look at the morals in his book. Because he made the morals of his characters so plainly different from the morals of society at the time, I think he was definitely making a statement and wanted people to think about what he was saying. I think what he was saying in his quote, "There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all." is that his book shouldn't be judged by the morals of the characters, but whether he wrote the book well or not. His book would definitely make the reader question the morals of society and their personal morals, which is what he wanted, but he didn't want people to label his book as immoral and not get the underlying meanings.

AdrienneB2009 said...

Wilde was maily satyrical but Dorian Gray is not. However, there are contradictions in the preface so I'm conflicted as to whether or not the preface only is satyrical. In the case that it is, the preface is great writing, beautiful words...art for art's sake. I do not think Wilde thought art was useless. I don't think the fact that he may have been bored in jail had anything to do with it because the fact that he showed it to anyone proves he simply did something worth doing and did ti well. I don't think he did it for us but for himself as a way of saying "Look at me, listen to me, now look at yourselves."

BrittneyW said...

I don't think Wilde wanted us to read into his work and pick it apart as much as we do based on morals. I think he wanted us to ignore the morals of society and just focus on the beauty of the story and the art he has created. I think that Wilde wanted the people to not judge the book morally, so that they could see the true meanings and beauty of the book.

korlandini said...

I find this to be a slightly confusingly worded question. I agree with Wilde that there are no immoral or moral books. And if that is the case, then it is just silly to pick apart a book based on morals. Its like judging meat based on it's cheese content. (weird metaphor, I know)AS for stating that the book is art, he never technically does. He goes into detail about art, but does not state that his book is art, nor that he is an artist.

SaraB2009 said...

I personally think that Wilde is just simply trying to confuse us. I think he knows that people will over anyalise his book especialy because of what he wrote in the preface. I think Wilde is the kind of person who likes playing with people and through his book he could do that. I also think that he does not want us to pick apart his book but he knew that we would so he made it a challenge to pick apart. I also think that Wilde is trying to make the point that people/artists are not as confusing as everyone thinks, and that art is just "art for art sake".

mollyp2010 said...

I do agree with that, that Wilde is trying to say that art shouldn't be read into too much. However, with that being said, Wilde is teaching us a lesson by having us read into his book to learn that we shouldnt be reading into things. If that makes sense. I do think though that Wilde believes that the primary purpose of art is for it to be beutiful.

HaileyM2009 said...

I don't think Wilde cared if critics picked apart his book. I think he is simply promoting deeper thought and trying to get people to look beyond their own initial ideas. His writing and even his preface is full of contradictory epigrams and ideas and he is not afraid to rock the boat. He is very used to being critiqued and he probably did not expect this book to be any different. In fact, he says that "the critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things..." and he has also said that, "The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic." He obviously encourages the strange relationship between critics and artists, and would therefore not make himself an exception to his ideals. He is forcing us to examine our own morals and stand by them for a reason, and not jsut because we were told to.

jordan s said...

I think that Wilde is telling us that in admiring art, we are making use of it. We are making ourselves useful by admiring and taking a closer look at his work of art. In today's society, art serves as a means of self-reflection and self-expression. Those who create art are useful because they give the rest of us a medium by which we form our concept of self and analyze our actions compared with what is asserted as being "desireable" by art.

Lauren L said...

I think wilde is trying to say that art is an expression and not an opinion. You can have an opinion but it is a though not an expression. Wilde is a strange writter and wants the reader to know to believe what he/she wants about the book but in general the book has no purpose. There should be no morals in art because then a person would not be able to express themselves fully.

TaylorS2009 said...

I think that Wilde did not want people to read into this book. Most people when they sit down and draw something or write a story, they don't have a deeper meaning behind it. I know that when I draw something, it is just because I feel like drawing it. Picking art apart is something that is useless in my opinion. WHen you are reading a book, ideas pop into your head as it is.Picking a book apart destroys the ideas that could be in there. I completely agree with Wilde if this is his message.

LaurenB2009 said...

I think that Wilde has no idea what he wants. All the times he contradicts himself makes him appear like a very indecisive person. I do believe that WIlde is positive that he doesn’t think that books hold morals and that we shouldn’t take more from a book then what the words are saying. AKA we shouldn’t look too much into the 'true' meaning of his story. Therefore art is useless.

Steven W said...

I agree I think that art's purpose is not to teach but to be enjoyed. There are without doubt conclusions and lessons to be learned by viewing art but I don't think that any of the authors, painters, sculptors or any other of the artist intended for their work to be dissected and the words they choice to use be considered for there deeper meaning. I believe that in many ways society attaches whatever lesson or significance they want to any piece of art. Due to perspective there is no one-way of interpreting art. I don't feel that artist's intentions when they created their works were for the artwork to be dissected and considered for every detail. I believe that the artist’s intention was to create something either for them to enjoy or for the public to enjoy.

RickM2009 said...

I don't believe Wilde was necessarily directing this comment at his book, but rather commenting on the literary world as a whole. I believe Wilde isn't asking us to pick apart his book at all, even though it was written in a fashion where this sort of dissection is well facilitated. There is a good deal of irony in Wilde's commentary, and by saying art is useless, I believe his intentiion is to get the reader to consciously think of a way to prove him wrong, thus proving that there is a use to art.

Anna P2009 said...

I like to think that there is a point to this book. I believe that Wilde wrote this book to get something across to the reader. As much as we would like to think that he just wrote this so write about art and to add a little message in about beauty, he didn't. He was in jail when he wrote this. He wanted society to understand how he viewed the world. He knows that people pick into books. He mentions it in the Preface. There is a moral to this story, if there wasn't why would he write it? Just because he was bored? I don't think so.

DrewB2009 said...

I don't think that Wilde wants us to pick apart the pook based on moral issues. I think that he wants everyone to realize that art isn't necessarily useless, but only useful for the artist themself. The entire book seems to just be his view on life and that is what he is trying to show to society.

KendraS2009 said...

I think that Wilde's goal is confuse us and to make us think. He contradicts himself a lot. I think that he wanted us to think about it, but not to pick apart every little detail. I do not think that Wilde believes all art is useless. If he believed that, he would not have taken the time to write this book, because he would have considered it useless.